LIS Leadership: Opportunities and Barriers for People of Color




Diversity, Diversity Equity and Incusion, LIS Leadership, Faculty of Color


Responding to the conference theme of “Go Back and Get It – From One Narrative to Many” this panel provides an opportunity for LIS faculty of color to voice their narratives about leadership opportunities in LIS. Through this panel, we will bring together people of color from different levels of LIS faculty (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor) to discuss their expectations and experiences of opportunities and barriers in leadership positions in LIS. According to the latest ALISE Statistical report, 2021 (ALISE Statistical Report, 2021) – out of a total of 55 heads of schools in LIS, there are 34 white, 11 Asian, 2 Black, and 1 Native American and Hispanic. The representation of marginalized groups in LIS leadership remains minimal.

The panelists will discuss their experiences of being in leadership or administrative positions and the availability or lack of training and guidance for faculty of color. Panelists who have not been in leadership/administrative positions will discuss the hesitation and perceived barriers for this work. This panel will also create a platform for the faculty of color to assert their narrative, their interest, their ambitions, and their competence in leadership positions in LIS. Their stories with their reflections and illustrative examples will provide space for alternative narratives. Each panelist will give a 10 minute presentation and pose questions for audience engagement. Additionally, we will engage the audience to develop an agenda for future faculty leaders from marginalized groups. There will be a brainstorming and experience sharing session with the attending colleagues to discuss the following questions – What kind of barriers exist for POCs? How can we address these barriers? What are the systemic barriers that need to be removed by current leaders? What is the type of support that POC faculty needs to receive and succeed in leadership positions in LIS?

The panelists will solicit POC faculty to create a collaboration for developing leadership and administration training modules/toolkits for LIS faculty and doctoral students of color. This discussion will also explicate how this approach will be complementary to the current ALISE Leadership Academy. The goal is to spark dialogue between faculty and doctoral students of color to facilitate an equitable vision for the future. For the wider audience of the conference focused on the metaphorical meaning of Sankofa (ALISE 22 website), we hope that this discussion will provide a direction to “see” and “hear” the marginalized voices of people of color in LIS.


Association of Library and Information Science Educators (ALISE) (2022). 2021 Annual ALISE Statistical Report. Retrieved from

ALISE 22 Annual Conference Website. Go Back and Get It: From One Narrative to Many.






Panels (Juried and SIGs)